Why Work as a Temporary or Contract Professional?

by Marcianne Kuethen
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When I was in college several decades ago, I temped as a clerical worker in between class days. It was a great experience that helped prepare me for the real world and solidified my expectation that every workplace ought to host regular potluck lunches! By the time the assignment ended, I had met many kind people, acquired valuable work experience that boosted my resume, and gained an added sense of confidence. If you are or ever have been a temp or contract worker, you might know the mixed feelings of not quite belonging and yet being so welcomed and needed. It felt great to be the hero who swooped in to save the day by filling in for a worker who had fallen ill…yet I also enjoyed later finding a permanent position where I could establish long-term relationships and credibility.

Did you know that on any given business day, 3.3 million Americans are temporary or contract employees on assignment? The ratio of temporary to contract assignments is 60:40, according to the American Staffing Association, which recently conducted a staffing employee survey. You may be encouraged to learn that, of the 12,000 temporary/contract workers surveyed, 9 out of 10 had a high satisfaction rate in several areas.

Here are the percentages of those who said they are satisfied with their staffing company, in multiple industries:

  •  93%     Health Care
  • 93%     Professional/Managerial
  • 90%     Industrial
  • 93%     Office/Clerical/Administrative
  • 91%     Technical, IT, and Scientific

Additionally, 93% said they were satisfied with the amount of hours they were assigned, and 93% also said they were satisfied with the kind of work they performed while on assignment.

Many of our contract professionals prefer not having permanent jobs. Working at different companies exposes you to new skills, allows you to hone the expertise you already have, and gives you a level of freedom that a permanent job doesn’t provide.

As you may have experienced, temporary or contract work can also be a bridge to permanent work. Employers take a risk in hiring and training people they don’t know. Many employers like to “try before they buy,” getting to know temporary employees and watching how they perform so they can hire with confidence.

In the second quarter of 2016, says the ASA, the outlook for hiring is positive, whether you’re looking for temporary, contract, or permanent work:

Looking ahead, 34% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent staff in the second quarter, up from 32% last year. Seven percent expect to decrease staff, down slightly from 8% last year. Fifty-five percent anticipate no change. Meanwhile, 37% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the second quarter, on par with 2015. Thirty-three percent plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter, up from 31% last year.

So to answer the question, Why work as a temporary or contract professional, temporary workers have a high rate of satisfaction not only with their recruitment agency but also with their jobs. And many will soon be given the opportunity to prove themselves and receive desirable offers for full-time work, where they will shelve their superhero capes. But some professionals prefer to change environments periodically to challenge themselves and grow their skills…and be the hero who swoops in and saves the day, over and over again.

Candidates, do we have the most current version of your resume? If not, click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions, whether it’s a contract or direct hire job.

Are you getting ready to leave your job? Here’s the best way to tell your next employer why.

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